1) Eating like a pig for the sake of ”Bulking”
Your mind gets pretty creative sometimes and you delude yourself into thinking you can eat anything you want just for the sake of ”bulking”. Great job. Before you know it you’re getting chunky and all that extra fat isn’t worth the small gains in strenght or size. Unless of course you are Scott Mendelson, bench a thousand pounds and you can’t afford to lose a pound of weight because your bench shirt won’t fit :P. I guess in that case that would be okay.
Of course you’ll be motivated by the quick gains you will get on the SCALE, but remember that a large percentage of those gains will be adipose tissue and little muscle. On top of that when comes the time to get shredded and cut you will have to sacrifice some of this muscular mass and be right back at square zero.
” But hey man I know a few bodybuilders who eat junk food all day and they’re jacked!”
Yeah dude, of course they’re jacked. They’re taking doses of anabolic steroids that could kill a horse, plus human growth hormone, IGF1 and a bunch of stuff you haven’t heard about. Plus these guys know EXACTLY what they’re doing. If you don’t take these drugs or if you don’t know what you’re doing, then eating junk food just for the sake of bulking will NOT give you the expected results. Check out how to spot a steroid user at your gym.
2) Thinking lifting heavy weights could stunt your growth
This is a myth (sort of). This mentality doesn’t seem to be popular these days (I hope), but 10-15 years back you would here that all day in the locker rooms, from your hockey coach, whatever, name it. Lifting heavy weights does not DIRECTLY stunt growth. There is no study proving that lifting heavy at a young age could directly stunt the growth of your bones. It makes no sense. Did you know that when you’re sprinting, your knees have to withstand loads of up to 8 to 10 times your body weight? Would that stunt your growth? Nope.
” But why do you say DIRECTLY stunt growth?
Look I’m not recommending that young guys or even kids do strenght training in the low repetition range. Because the truth is when your body is not 100% developed, it is more prone to injuries. The problem lies in the epiphyseal plate, which is essentially the part at each end of the long bones in your body that has not yet ossified and is weaker than the bone in question. For more info on epiphyseal plate : wikipedia. Here is also an extract from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery :
- The Epiphyseal plate (growth plate) is prone to fractures in children because it is not yet ossified and is weaker than the bone;
- The majority of Epipyseal plate fracture cases involve overhead lifts, such as the overhead press and jerk, with near maximal resistances;
- The fracturing of these plates can lead to stunted growt.
These injuries will stunth the growth of the injured bone, resulting later in asymmetry and possible chronic pain. Ever heard stories of people with legs of different lenghts caused by an injury during their youth?
To summarize this, heavy strenght training at a young age (kids and teenagers) can definitely stunt growth but it is only indirectly caused by possible injuries.
” But hey man I know a guy who never got injured and heavy training stunted his growth”
Well for one thing you can never verify that. Doesn’t meant that because his brother is 6’2” and he is 5’5” that he should have been taller.
Another thing people don’t tell you in those stories is performance enhancing drugs. I know some guys who took steroids and hgh around age 17 (yeah dumb as hell) and it definitely messed up their hormonal system and stunted their growth. Now they’re as jacked as one could be but 5’6”. Ooops!
3) Doing isolation exercises all the time
See them skinny teenagers going to the gym and spend the whole session doing bicep curls? Geez. If you’re looking for some muscle mass, there’s no way you’re gonna get it by doing isolation exercises all day. I know you’ve seen Arnold do it over and over in ”Pumping Iron”, but whatever. Choose exercises that solicit multiple muscle groups. For example :
- Bench press : pectorals, anterior deltoids, triceps;
- Squat : hamstrings, back, abs, quads a little bit;
- Chin-up : bicep, forearm, upper back.
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